The Lahore Transport Company is to take responsibility for parking in the city from the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) and the city government and will seek to set up a system that pays for itself.
The city government has forwarded a summary for the transfer of authority to the Punjab Transport Authority, which will forward it after approval to the chief secretary, who in turn will send it to the chief minister.
Khawaja Ahmad Hassaan, the LTC chairman, said the process of approval would take about three weeks. Meanwhile, he said, Turkish company ISPARK is developing a parking model for the city. The LTC aims to set up a parking system that generates enough revenue to run itself. “We don’t want to ask the Punjab government for money to run the system,” he said.
Lahore faces major traffic issues due to the absence of parking areas, lack of public transport and a rising number of vehicles. Hassaan said the city’s parking issues could not be resolved without a quality public transport system. “Now the LTC will hold both responsibilities,” he said. The LTC is importing buses to ply the city’s public transport routes.
Hassaan said that the parking issues in commercial areas could not be resolved without the construction of parking plazas, but he couldn’t say when they would be built.
“These will definitely be part of our long-term plans,” he said. “It is not clear yet what will be in the final summary.”
He said that commuters would be able to get a chargeable card from which the parking meters would automatically deduct fees according to the amount of time the facility is used. Cameras would be installed at parking lots for monitoring, to reduce the risk of car theft and give commuters a sense that their car is parked in a safe area, he added.
Hassaan said that the cost of the new parking model and parking fees had not been decided.
“One thing is for sure: we will earn at least 10 times more than what the CDGL and the LDA are getting through these parking stands,” he said.
The parking fee will be high to discourage commuters from parking their cars at the side of the road, but the fee in parking plazas and stands would be low and charged on an hourly basis, he said.
He said that the LTC would use staff from the public facilities department and hire a general manager and staff to serve at parking lots.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2012.
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